During the launch of the first-ever North American Climate Summit, former President Barack Obama endorsed America’s Pledge and the newly launched Chicago Climate Charter praising bottom up climate action as the new face of American leadership on climate change.
The first North American Climate Summit took place on 5 December in Chicago, with more than 40 US mayors in attendance.
Barack Obama delivered the keynote address where he said: “The work is up to each of us – wherever we have some impact, wherever we have some influence. That’s why America’s Pledge on climate is so important – it’s about more than living up to our responsibilities on the world stage, it’s about keeping our word on the world stage”.
America’s Pledge co-chair Michael Bloomberg welcomed Barack Obama’s endorsement, hoping that it will “draw even more international attention to the bottom-up progress our country continues to make on climate change”.
He added: “We hope it will encourage more city, business, and civic leaders around the country to join our growing coalition”.
During the summit, mayors from all around the world inaugurated the Chicago Climate Charter, a first-of-its-kind international charter on climate change which is currently signed from more than 50 mayors from around the world.
This includes Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Former UN Environment chief Christiana Figueres was present as the Global Covenant of Mayors- the world’s largest and first-of-its-kind international alliance of cities and local governments taking action to combat climate change co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission.
By signing the Chicago Climate Charter, cities are pledging a series of climate commitments, such as reducing carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, reporting city emissions using best practices of measurement and transparency, incorporating climate change parameters into local infrastructure and emergency planning through climate adaptation and resilience strategies
Mayor Rahm Emanuel commented: “Rather than burying our heads in the sand, Chicago is working with cities across the country and around the world to address the threat of climate change”.
“The Chicago Climate Charter represents tens of million residents who are committed to confronting climate change head-on. Even as Washington fails to act, cities have the power and will to take decisive action to protect our planet and the health and safety of our residents”.
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